Blade is a 1998 American superhero horror film directed by Stephen Norrington and written by David S. Goyer based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film stars Wesley Snipes in the title role with Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson and N'Bushe Wright in supporting roles.
In 1967, a pregnant woman is attacked by a vampire while giving birth. Doctors are able to save her baby, but the woman dies from an infection.
Thirty years later, the child has become the vampire hunter Blade. He raids a rave club owned by the vampire Deacon Frost. Police take one of the vampires to the hospital, where he feeds on hematologist Karen Jenson and escapes. Blade takes Karen to a safe house where she is treated by his old friend Abraham Whistler. Whistler explains that he and Blade have been waging a secret war against vampires using weapons based on their elemental weaknesses, such as sunlight and silver. As Karen is now "marked" by the bite of a vampire, both he and Blade tell her to leave the city.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of vampire elders, Frost, the leader of a faction of younger vampires, is rebuked for trying to incite war between vampires and humans. As Frost and his kind were not born as vampires and are therefore not pure-bloods, they are considered socially inferior. In response, Frost has one of the elders executed and strips the others of their authority.
Upon returning to her apartment, Karen is attacked by a policeman, who is a "familiar", a human slave controlled by a vampire. Blade subdues the familiar and uses information from him to locate an archive of vampire history. Later, at the hideout, Blade injects himself with a special serum that prevents him from succumbing to his desire to drink blood, which would ultimately turn him into a vampire. However, the serum is beginning to lose its effectiveness due to overuse.
While experimenting with the anticoagulant EDTA as a possible replacement, Karen discovers that it explodes when combined with vampire blood. She manages to synthesize a vaccine that can cure the infected, but learns that it will not work on a human-vampire hybrid like Blade. Frost and his men attack the hideout, infect Whistler, and abduct Karen. When Blade returns, he helps Whistler commit suicide and arms himself with special syringes filled with EDTA.
When Blade attempts to rescue Karen from Frost's penthouse, he is shocked to find his still alive mother, who reveals that she came back that very night and was brought in by Frost, who appears and reveals himself as the vampire who bit her. Blade is then subdued and taken to the Temple of Eternal Night, where Frost plans to perform the summoning ritual for La Magra, the vampire blood god. Blade is drained of his blood, but Karen allows him to drink from her, triggering his vampirism. Frost completes the ritual and obtains the powers of La Magra. Blade confronts Frost after killing all of his minions, including Blade's mother. During their fight, Blade injects Frost with all of the syringes, causing his body to inflate and explode, killing him.
Karen offers to help Blade cure himself, but he asks her to create a new serum instead. In a brief epilogue, Blade confronts a vampire in Moscow.
Why It Rocks
- Blade was the first successful Marvel movie, leading a pathway for more successful Marvel movies like Spider-Man and X-Men.
- Snipes did a great job as the title character and is successful in bringing out the duality and inner demons of the character.
- Kris Kristofferson is good as well and really brings the tormented character of Whistler to life with energy and sense of timing.
- Stephen Dorff provides the best acting in the film and his chilling performance as Deacon Frost stands as one of the best on-screen villains.
- Great cinematography.
- A very tense dark atmosphere which works great in tune with the main character and story.
- The film is everything that you would ask for in an action/thriller. It has plenty of blood, guts and gore, a twisted, disturbed bad guy, moments of humor and, most importantly, a very good storyline with plenty of twists.
- A dramatic yet epic soundtrack which adds a lot to the atmosphere of the movie, with highlights include "Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction)" by New Order and "Dealing with the Roster" by Junkie XL.
- N'Bushe Wright's character is fairly weak as a leading lady making her character relatively flat and lifeless.
- The third movie, Blade: Trinity, was weak.
- Denzel Washington and Laurence Fishburne were both considered for the role of Blade.